Eileen R. Tabios is a poet working in multiple genres and in-between. She also loves books by writing, reading, publishing, critiquing, romancing and advocating for them. This blog will feature her bibliophilic activities with posts on current book engagements and links to her books and projects related to books.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


I still remember when I was one of those Mark Young surveyed as to whether he should create an online mag. Now, OTOLITHS has forged a special place among online journals and I'm glad that the Introduction to my last 2019 poetry book is featured in its latest issue--go HERE for esteemed poet-critic (and painter) Thomas Fink's essay but here's an excerpt below. Later this year, I hope you check out my book THE IN(TER)VENTION OF THE HAY(NA)KU: SELECTED TERCETS 1996-2019 (Marsh Hawk Press)--it will be my last poetry book for a while, possibly forever:

excerpt from Introduction:

"Barrios articulates the feminist disclosure of female power in “the Enheduanna poems of Ménage à Trois with the 21st Century (2004), in which “Tabios privileges the woman’s voice and even when she speaks of the man longed for—‘you’—it is from the woman’s imagined perspective…. What really matters is the woman imagining ‘you’” (320) and not the actual “you,” whatever or whoever that is. In “Enheduanna #20,” the sole poem selected for The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets, ... two opening questions compel a recognition of the speaker’s influence over the man as she seeks to fathom his prediction about specifics of his future subjectivity: “As you fall asleep/ in my skin/ will you dream?// Will you want/ you or want/ to change?” Then again, Barrios might be right that this “is from the woman’s imagined perspective,” since the speaker’s apostrophic questions cannot be answered by a “you” who exists, if he exists, outside the poem. After some questioning of herself, she returns to questioning him:

Will you bring the scent
of red roses
I left behind

in New York City alleyways
(or has that season yet to pass)?
In my eyes

will you see
Baudelaire's infinity
he defined as the "sky"

you witness repeatedly
on and in any painting
marked by blue sapphire, lapis

lazuli, indigo, turquoise...sky...?"

Saturday, July 27, 2019



I wish to celebrate Leny Strobel’s new book GLIMPSES which was created using my MDR Poetry Generator as a scaffolding. MDR is my sixth poetry performance/conceptual project  and it—along with the hay(na)ku (and possibly one more that’s still in the oven)—look to become my top two/three longest-lived projects.  I’ve long been interested in scale and duration and I appreciate their legs because it never relies on me as author but on others as readers/audience. That’s the slippery nature of Poetry, how it can’t be tied down to authorial desire—I’ve long respected its alchemical nature. The hay(na)ku is on its 16thyear and MDR on its 6thyear and may they continue to thrive.

Anyway, if you care to see if MDR might trigger something in you, an easy way is to get its monograph MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION which includes Study Questions and a Workshop Suggestion, making it useful for workshops and prompts—it triggered an entire book from Leny, painting from Matt Manalo, poems from Carol Dorf, Jim Leftwich, Mike Gullickson, Joy McDowell, among others, and even reviewers who intended initially just to review the book. You can see some audience engagements HERE. Here also is a good background essay about MDR over at Jacket2.

But for now, I celebrate Leny’s creativity and courage in writing GLIMPSES. If possible, please support with a purchase; a portion of sales proceeds for the rest of the year also will go to the valuable Center for Babaylan Studies.

Friday, July 19, 2019


Diana Petkova, a poet from Skopje, has released the first hay(na)ku poetry collection in Macedonian! Entitled Unsecreting of the light, the book is published by PNV Publications from Skopje with support from their Ministry of Culture! The book doesn’t just contain 55 hay(na)ku but another 55 reverse hay(na)ku as well as eight examples of her own variation called “hai(na)ga.” Her invention is a blend of poems with images of the watercolors of Macedonian artist Toni Shulajkovski.  

Diana is a well-published writer of haiku -- I share more about her biography below beneath the images -- but learned of hay(na)ku from a creative writing course taught by Macedonian poet Elena Prendzova.  She took to the form and ended up writing the hay(na)ku poems that comprise her new book. Here are photos of the books taken during the book release on May 21, 2019 in Macedonia:

Clad in pink, artist Toni Shulajkovski and poet Diana Petkova sign their books.

Elena Prendzova introduces the book.

Needless to say, I'm both delighted and grateful that the hay(na)ku caught the attention of Macedonian poets!

Here is Diana Petkova's bio:

Diana Petkova was born on 08.03.1964 in Skopje. She graduated at the Faculty of Philology in Skopje, at the department for Macedonian language and history of literature of the people of Yugoslavia.

Her poetry has been published in the magazines "Sovremenost", "Stozer" andTEA Moderna, and she is represented in the anthology "The heartbeat of Macedonian poetry" by Svetlana Hristova-Jocic (2012), in the collection of poetry and short stories "Surrealistic gugilipapuli" (2016) and in the e-collections: "SeMir" (2016), "Poplava"(2016),"Sneg"(2019) and "Dlankovod" (2019)https://issuu.com/associationkontext/docs

So far she has published the following poetry collections: "Stefania" (1999), "Children of silk" - poetry with children's drawings (2011), "New reality for the space" (2013), "A particle of awareness" - haiku and haiga (2014) "What's for lunch mom? "- haiku chef for conscious men and women (2016)," Enso•Connecting with the whole" - haiku and haiga (2017) and "Connect ..." - haigas with photographs of the beauties of Macedonia made by Kamelija Sojlevska (2018) and Unsecreting of the light” –hai[na]ku, inverted hai[na]ku and hai[na]ga (2019).

In May 2009 she introduced herself to the New York audience at MC Gallery New York with a video promotion of verses from her "Children of Silk" collection, as part of the "Influenced by the sound" exhibition of Toni Shulajkovski.

From September 2012 until 2017 she is the owner and editor of a healthy food website www.healthyfoodcorner.com where on daily bases she publishes texts in English. By showing different ways of preparing food, step by step through photos, mostly supporting the macrobiotic way of cooking in Macedonian conditions, she stimulates a healthy diet among young people.
In July 2014, she participated in a colony organized by Aurora Resort - Berovo with Simonida Filipova-Kitanovska, Kasyopeia Naumoska, Emil and Toni Shulajkovski, who paint two watercolors for the project "A particle of awareness", published in the "A Particle of awareness" book. The promotion of the book was organized in "Gallery 8" in the Old Skopje Bazaar with an exhibition of haiku poems by the author and watercolors by Toni Shulajkovski, and the verses were read by the audience.

In September 2016 in the cafe-gallery Concept 37 she promoted “What’s forlunch mom?" haiku cookbook for conscious men and women consisting of haiku, haiga with graphics by Diana Tomic-Radevska and macrobiotic recipes, as three different artistic expressions, all three originating from Japan. The event wasaccompanied by an exhibition of graphics by Diana Tomić-Radevska created for the“What’s for lunch mom?" project and also printed in the book, and by a poetryperformance with the participation of the audience.

In March 2017 she participated by reading verses from the "Stefania" collection at the festival Woman Scream, an international poetry and art festival in support of women's rights and prevention of violence against women (with a license from Spain).

In October 2017, in Salon "19:19" at the KIC, she carried out a poetic and artisticperformance "Enso • Connecting with the Whole", allowing the audience to participate, who wrote haiku poems for the first time on the spot, and with the guidance of Toni Shulajkovski each of the participants also painted their own enso-circle for the first time.18 enso paintings were presented at the promotion, all made by the author of this book.

In May 2019 in the cafe-gallery "Concept 37" with an exhibition of 32, out of 110 watercolors, made by Toni Shulajkovski for this project, she promotes the collectionUnsecreting of the light” – hay[na]ku, inverted hay[na]ku and hay[na]ga, the only such collection in Macedonia and in the Balkans.

She has organized 47 solo exhibitions of the renowned academic painter Toni Shulajkovski, and at the same time is the manager of his work. She has written these introductions in the catalogs of his exhibitions: "Another World", "Influence by the sound", "Walking through the sound", "Sigh for space", "Intergalactic reactions" and haiku for the catalog of the exhibition "A Suburb of consciousness".

In the creative center Ars Vivendi, where he works as a mentor in the studio for creative writing, she awakens the sleeping knowledge of the children and in that way she makes them aware for keeping their creative channel always open for new insights and research. Organizing 14 final exhibitions and promoting 6 books: "Free water", "Quiet powers of the spirit", "Thoughts of silence", "24/7", "Moon, breathe! and "The drowsiness of the cloud", made by children - members of this creative center, together with Tony Shulajkovski, she faces children with the beauty of their inner being.
She lives and works in Skopje.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


My sweet local library is displaying samples from my miniature book collection. It is up from July 15-August 30, 2019. Here are some photos I took after installing it:

Artist's Books by Matt Manalo, Ivy Alvarez, Ulysses Duterte, Marton Koppány and Ed Baker 

Single-sheet books by Marthe Reed, Eileen Tabios, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Mandy Laughtland, Jim McCrary, Sheila E. Murphy, Gilad Elbom, Aldon Nielsen, and Minal Hajratwala

 Some Poems-For-All produced by Robert Hansen. Spotted authors include Zoe Venditozzi, Jack Crimmins, Eileen R. Tabios, Alex Gildzen, Mick Guffan, Steve Richmond, klipschutz, Clare Archibald, jonathan hayes, and richard lopez.

Some Poets' Limited (if not One-off) Editions. Authors include Sarah Sarai, Sean Labrador y Manzano, Tom Beckett, William Allegrezza, Susan Yount, and Aileen Ibardaloza.  

William Shakespeare

Artist's Books by Alice Brody, book jewelry, and a reproduction of one of the books 
in Queen Mary's Dollhouse. 

Bo Press Miniatures, matchbook poetry journals from Firecracker Press, and Dusie books (including by Elizabeth Treadwell and Eileen Tabios)

In the glass case, lower shelf, are the books from a Meritage Press series that utilized Nepalese-made tiny books, featuring Juliana Spahr, Tom Beckett, Jill Jones, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen​, and Eileen R. Tabios--more information is HERE. Also featured on top shelf of glass case is a hand-made book by John and Kathy Bloomberg-Rissman. I'm so honored these major poets worked with me on tiny books!

 The Complete Collection of Miniature Classics by Del Prado (Spain).

 Mark Twain

Beatrix Potter



We interrupt our regularly-scheduled programming for Artemis:

With regret, I share that our elderly cat Artemis passed away this morning at age 19. I’m trying to stave off the sadness with celebration as she lived a long, great life. She was more Buddha than Buddha, the exact creature Jesus Christ counseled real Christians to become, and an unknown but definite hero by both indigenous and Star Trek Standards—which is all to say, by loving everyone she met and making everyone love her, she embodied what usually remains potential: All is One and One is All. 

When we first rescued her, we were informed she had been dropped off with her own litter of kittens. If so, she never had a chance to know her children. But she did come home (with another cat Scarlet) to become the mother of a 9-week old German Shepherd, Achilles. After puppy Achilles grew to be over a dozen times Artemis' size, Artemis used to nap by using the silky-soft interior of his large ear as her pillow.  It is a consolation that, by transitioning from us, she goes to join Achilles and Scarlet on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. Also waiting for her will be our other shepherds Athena and Gabriela for one of creation’s major flaws is the too-short life span given to dogs.

Artemis had so many qualities that made her as perfect a creature as ever roamed planet Earth. She was a comfort cat for my aging Mom when Mom joined our household for the last six years of her life. She was a skilled huntress who once leapt four feet straight up to bring down a bird in flight—she caught it in the air and flipped the bird over so that when she returned to ground she landed by sitting on it; nonetheless, she did raise her cashmere-soft butt to let the bird fly off to safety.  She tamed all sorts of animals (and humans) who entered the house, including our first male cat Tarzan who we are hopeful will become less of a male chauvinist pig because of her influence.

To date, she has purred louder than any cat we’ve ever met for when she chose to display love, she displayed a love so munificent it must resound to the heavens … even if it occasionally irritated Scarlet who chastised the loudness of her purrs (but then again Scarlet was a dark creature whose only positive characteristic was the exquisite taste she displayed by being obsessed with Eileen, but the eulogy-writer digresses…).

As I have described Artemis, she lived long and loved deep—that she managed that hard-to-master combination is one reason she lived greatly. No wonder that as we drove her to her long-time family doctor, Gladys Knight sang, “…the best thing that ever happened to me.” And when we left the veterinarian’s office, Whitney Houston sang, “…the greatest love of all.”

You were and are loved, Artemis. Don’t rest in peace. Go off and frolic with the others. Tom and I shall see you and the other furry children again.

Achilles so loved Artemis he frequently gave her his "dog bed." 

Artemis (left) and Scarlet high up on the bed, daring the dogs to come closer. 

The kitten Tarzan trying unsubtly to cozy up to Artemis.

Monday, July 8, 2019


I love writing poems "after" visual art and also love it when visual artists create art after one of my poems.  Here's Matt Manalo's "I FORGET FORGETTING MY SKIN IS A RUIN" (2019, 60 x 54 inches):

The  medium is interesting, too: acrylic paint, spray paint, duct tape, and rice bags!

The work was exhibited along with another sculpture, "Displacement (reimagined) #3" (2016-2019), and I think the two pieces work well together--the text resonating against the interrupted and rupturing squares on the other work!

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Matt's works were part of "There Is Enough For Everyone," an art exhibition in Houston, Texas (June 14-July 8, 2019) that "pointed a spotlight at the reality of scarcity within black and brown communities, prodding the limitations, distribution, and access of wealth in the city of Houston and the country at large" (from exhibit description). The exhibition was curated by Michael Stevenson and J. Bilhan.

Thanks to Matt, one of my favorite contemporary artists.